|40||THE GREEK PAPYRI.|
life] of Arsinoê, by the divine Philomêtor . . . and the saviour gods and Sarapis and [lsis who preside over] the contract."
In a mutilated letter written by Hermogenês to Theodôros (G. 117) the writer, after stating that "the copy is not good," goes on to say that he "had hopes up to the 30th of the month Pakhous" (about 23 July) "on account of the waterless part of the district ; " as it is he would "wait until the 10th of Payni" (about 2 Aug.), evidently anxiously watching the rising Nile.
Another mutilated document (S. 251) from Meleagros the son of Meleagros, who bears the curious title of the "champion of peace," declares that he had " valued the crops. . . for the 23rd year, 200 metrêetes; 33¼ not having been paid (into the treasury) [on account of] excess".
In one year the tax on the gardens and vineyards produced 3 talents 626 copper drachmae or 104 silver drachmae and 2 obols, (giving a ratio of 1:351 for silver and copper value) the tax on vineyards alone amounting to one talent 617 copper drachmae, while there was an additional tax on their produce. The fellahin who worked on the estates are called sometimes "agriculturists," sometimes "serfs." Thus (G. 117a) on the 3rd of Epeiphi of the 7th year (B.C. 240) Theodôros received, a memorandum of Teôs thro' his agent Hermophilos on the back of which he has written the words : " [Let] the work [be] valued equally per serf that it may not trouble us."
Theodôros is called "the steward " in a fragment (G. 116) which reads as follows; "You will do well if it seem good to you to write to Theodôros the steward that he should allow us to draw 100 fathoms as far as the inn," Above are the words: " Memorandum for Theodôros from Petoubastês and Petekhôn," while on the back is written : " The 8th year, the 26th day of Pharmouthi : memorandum from Petoubastês and Petekhôn ; mortgage of land to Theodôros."
Another "steward" named Phaiês, who seems to have looked after the royal household, is mentioned in some other letters. One of them (E. 74) is as follows: - "To Phaiês the steward from Ammônios the secretary of Phlyês (know) that when I was present the fellow from the neighbourhood of Oxyrinkha handed in an account to the office; and on the 27th day at the first hour when I was in the office a servant came from Kallôn summoning me. Having put down the books I went out, and when I was at the door of the war-office* the servant ordered (them) to take me away, and now I am in the police-station.** Farewell." The missive is a mysterious one; all we learn from it is that the writer had been arrested and confined, not in a regular prison, but in a sort of "lock-up." The second letter is more explicit, and informs us of the existence of "royal gooseherds," who, however, it would appear, sometimes failed in their duty (E. 75). "To Phaiês the steward from Paôs the son of Petesoukhos and Inarôs the son of Toustotoêtis the royal gooseherds from Pharbaithos, and Paôs the son of Armaios and Amoleês the son of Petosiris the royal gooseherds from Persea Iskhyria. The steward comes to us, ordering us to furnish for the table 12 geese; as we are not able (to do so) we request you, since he further levies upon us the [number] of geese levied for the table upon the gooseherds of the nome, on account of their being half the contribution, to send our account to the office to be inspected ; and if it should be correct as we write (it is), that it be done to us accordingly in order that we may be able to deal justly by the king. Farewell."
72. The Fayoum perhaps provided copper as well as stone and the produce of its gardens and farms. Reference is made to the " copper-mines " (Gr. 113), tho' unfortunately the mutilated state of the papyrus prevents us from knowing where they were situated. Then, as now, moreover, a revenue seems to have been derived from the fish caught in the great canal. At all events this is the most probable interpretation of a document, the key-word to which is half destroyed. I translate it thus:
"The 32nd year, from Theodotos, the account of
the [revenue on the fish-pots] in the canal of the
harbour of Ptolemais, in the month Thoth, the 3rd
day; from the collection*** made by Kalatytis 5½ silver
drachmae [less one], i.e. 4;
* Or "general's quarters."
** Literally "the day-watch-house"
*** The word is that which is used in the New Testament in the sense of a "collection for the poor"
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